Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Four African cheetahs arrive at Sakkarbag

Four African cheetahs arrive at Sakkarbag
Times of India

JUNAGADH: Almost 63 years after it last lived in Junagadh, four African cheetahs arrived at Sakkarbag zoo here on Sunday. The cheetahs, two male-female pairs, in exchange for three Asiatic lions, which left for Singapore last week.

The four big cats, which have just reached their adulthood, were ferried from Singapore to Ahmedabad in a special aircraft and from there via road, sources said. "They are in a healthy condition. After a long journey, these animals are resting in their new environment. We have kept them under 24-hour special observation through CCTV cameras," said VJ Rana, Sakkarbag zoo director. "If all goes well, we will keep them in a cage for public viewing after 15 days," Rana added.

"About 30 cheetahs from different parts of the world were brought to India over the years, but none survived. In fact, these four animals are the only living cheetahs in India at present," Rana explained.

In Gujarat, cheetah was last seen in Junagadh zoo in 1946 and years before that a carcass was found in 1910 from the wilderness in Wankaner taluka of Rajkot district.

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